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Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #50
Skye had watched the video play out of her fellow Wolf's actions and felt a deep sense of gratitude for what he had done.  Her eyes caught his as he stood there waiting the verdict and her chin tilted upward with one corner of her mouth quirked up giving her quiet support.  There was much she could learn from him, whether it was Starfleet protocol or not and he had her respect.

Then she heard the decision.  Grounding ... clipping his wings ... and it just felt wrong to her.  The muscles of her jaw worked as she ground her teeth in frustration but when Isley spoke up, she couldn't keep from nodding in agreement.  There needed to be some revamps in protocols to deal with things like this but she was just an ensign and the least experienced of them all.  It didn't keep her mouth shut though.

"Pardon me Ma'am and with all due respect," she said in the quiet to Edena Rez.  "I recently fired on the Theurgy itself, disabled Valkyrie and Ruanbouts, even forced the ejection and explosion of the warp core from the Captains Yacht.  All of my actions were my own, most without orders and probably not what the SCO would have ordered if he were in that situation.  Yet I stand here freshly decorated and he's being grounded ..."

Her voice trailed off and she was apologetic but her conviction held true.  She believed Miles had done the right thing as well though she herself would have communicated the discovery before, or at least while, she acted.  If they chose to take back her medal for her words and make her work right alongside him, so be it, but she couldn't stand there in good conscience and not support her teammate.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #51
[Transporter room 01 - Deck 05]

Natalie watched the Wolf give his report, her eyes flicking back, and forth, between the newly recovered pilot, and the rest of the group. She had let out a sigh of relief as the man came through the transport in one piece. She had been worried that there might have been pattern deterioration that she had missed, but, all in all, he seemed perfectly capable of making a report. And taking the flack for his actions. While the COO admittedly didn't know all that much about fighter pilot tactics, she knew plenty about the chain of command. As far as the young woman was concerned, it was not her place to pass judgement one way or another, even if the Wolf had 'saved' the day, he still broke the chain of command. That he admitted to it was a mark in his favor, as far as she was concerned.

Not that she said any of it. She kept her mouth shut, and instead focused on running a few post transport diagnostics on the unit. Her team had stepped back, for the moment, the tech's awkwardly shifting from one foot to the other. They were all pleased at the successful transport, but at the same time, each felt uncomfortable being present for the report and dress down, and the subsequent 'discussion' for lack of a better word, that had broke out between the Wolves, and the CO and XO. For her own part, Natalie couldn't much imagine herself speaking up like that...until she remembered how she had felt compelled to state her own opinion not twenty minutes ago, in the debate on how to deal with the ships avatar. The smaller woman found herself feeling a momentary flare of sympathy for the assembled Wolves, but forced her focus back on the transporter controls, as she triggered one last diagnostic cycle. It was a good distraction to keep the newly promoted Department Head from having to possibly voice her own opinion on the matter.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #52
Miles nodded, "Mr. Isley, I broke protocol and in doing so potentially endangered the pack.  The captain is right in her call, and given the fact that it took this long to recover me I am imagining the ship is in dire need of maintenance.  If that is the case then putting me in maintenance may be a better use of my skills than flying patrols at the moment.  I should not have taken any form of charge nor should have I broke formation.  I acted on instinct instead of on wisdom and that instinct served me well this time.  A more logical mind would argue that it was mere luck that my actions ended favorably.  Frankly I think it was mere luck that we survived that encounter in the least.  Fact is however, that those actions have consequences, and despite the possible argument that the ends justify the means in this specific case, the ends do not exempt me from the consequences of those means.  Secondly ensign Carver, whatever you did to earn that medal I am sure it was in a circumstance that was not while in squadron standard formations based on your words.  What I did was breech of protocol in a more standard operation.  What it sounds like you did were actions under a state of apparent ship-wide duress.  The two scenarios are as different as night and day."  He said calmly. "Please, both of you, do not attempt to be my advocate in this.   Thea requires cohesion not dissension between her crew and the pack that protects her.  I knew full well the consequences of my actions as I took them.  That is why i pointed out my breeches in protocol when I was asked to debrief the captain on my mission.  I pointed them out because it is my responsibility to do so,"  He paused as he followed the many directions in examination the EMH was beginning to give him. then added   "Just as it is your responsibility to make sure that any wolves that want to argue that I shouldn't be grounded are reminded that the captain's decision is not only final but is correct."

Miles then added rather quickly and in a more friendly instead of calm logical tone of voice, "Comander Rez, as my direct commanding officer, would you mind scheduling a time that you can debrief me on the events on the ship I have missed?" He paused for a second and smiled, "Especially whatever it was that changed your uniform from teal to crimson and added those pips to your collar, and whatever it was that earned my fellow wolves the Star Cross.   In the mean time I think the Doctor here will want to do a more through examination, and I would rather not delay him.  Besides, sooner he checks me out sooner I can begin my maintenance schedule."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #53
Having done what needed doing, Nicole walked away from primary deflector control with as few words as possible.  Despite knowing what had happened during the infection wasn't her fault, she still found herself drawing away from those around her, isolating herself as a way of shielding herself from any memory that might surface.  Already she'd had an instance in the mess hall where simply brushing up against one of the mess cooks brought a flash of her naked and being speared by his virus-altered erection and loving every second of.  A second memory came in the women's shower on deck 3 after she'd been working out.  She'd been drying off when another lieutenant bumped into her.  When she'd turned to see who it had been, the woman's face instantly popped into her mind, of staring up past the valley of two breasts, nipples hard points as the woman pinched them and groaned in ecstasy, Nicole's own lips nibbling and biting on the woman's sex, savoring the infection-tainted flavor.

Trying to shake the memories, she'd headed for the transporter room, expecting it to have few, if any, crewmembers present.  As she approached, however, she heard the sound of talking from within, specifically the captain and a few other officers.  Eyes widening, she stopped just outside the doorway, the doors hissing open upon the tableau within.  Pausing only for half a second, she turned and left, heading for the next stop on her list.  Already she'd gotten 11 major repairs started and 4 minor ones.  The transporter room had been relatively minor and definitely could wait, so off she headed to stellar cartography, where several portable force-field cranes had been setup to start removing debris.  Her hope was no one would be there and no one would come looking for her.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #54
[ Transporter Room 01]

Hearing the arguments yet showing no outward sign that she would change her mind, Jien caught the doors opening and closing - a flow of red hair spotted when the hesitant visitor moved out of the frame. It was an educated guess, yet the Captain thought she knew whom it had been. She had avoided them for far too long already, for reasons unknown, so she decided to make an unofficial enquiry.

"It takes a good man to know and admit his mistakes, even better to stand by his word to accept punishment for them," said Jien and looked back towards the returned Wolf. "You will be given a full written report on the weeks that you were trapped, and once you have had the ample time needed to read up on the information, I am sure the XO or I can answer any additional questions in a couple of days. You can expect a summons eventually from either of us to grant you this opportunity."

Turning her head to take in the other two Wolves as well as the Chief of Operations and her crew, Jien excused herself. "Everyone report to their regular duty-shifts when possible. There is still plenty to do before we leave the Mahéwa System," she said, and then looked towards Edena Rez, "Please settle into your new quarters and Ready Room after we go into Warp. Before then, I need you to oversee the finalisation of the deuterium and dilithium harvesting. Make sure they finish in time for Lt. T'Less' completed refit and get everyone out of there. I will be handling Engineering and their repair-efforts until then."

Captain Ives glanced around once more before leaving. "Dismissed."

She left then, and once she had passed around the corner of the door-frame, she changed... into his male form. It had become somewhat of a tradition to be in his male form when speaking to Lt. Nicole Howard, so he would honour that - despite how nigh unconscious the change might have become to him. He had hoped to talk to her in the Senior Staff meeting, or perhaps just before it, yet now her absence had left his decision not so simple any more.

She better have a good explanation...

[ Sickbay | Surgical Suite 01 | Deck 07 ]

OOC Warning: Details concerning abortions follow that may not be entirely tasteful, so please, refrain from reading if you do not want to know.

Despite his nature, Lucan was not too keen on this particular kind of procedure. It came with a lot of social taboo that he had no interest to involve himself with, even though it was his responsibility as a doctor. Oh, of course he would follow the usual manuscript he had been taught on both Aldea as well as in Starfleet Medical. Yet when it came down to it, it was all just a charade, and the women of most species abhorred what they asked him to do. The only way he could - somehow - make some profit for his own interests was if he could conduct the procedure without pain or discomfort and they would appreciate his delicate hand in it.

While Dr. Nicander raised the force-field that held up the surgical blankets in a way that prevented Amikris to see anything from the neck down, he considered the odds that he might successfully utilise a methotrexate injection - an intramuscular injection originally designed to attack fast growing cells such as cancers. Methotrexate attacked the fast growing cells of the trophoblast as well; the tissue surronding the embryo that eventually grew the placenta. It caused the disintengration of that sustaining, protective, and nourishing environment... depriving the alien embryo from food, oxygen, and fluids. No, it was too lengthy a procedure. It took days that Amikris could not afford to let it remain regardless whether the Ash'reem physique allowed the procedure or not. Furthermore, if it would indeed serve to kill the embryo, she would bleed for days, weeks - even heavily - and may abort the remains anywhere without notice.

No, as Lucan used an exoscalpel to cut out the opening he needed, he realised that he was forced to do the modern version of suction aspiration - or vacuum curettage - simply because it was the more expedient solution. A powerful suction tube with a sharp cutting edge was formerly inserted into the womb through the dilated cervix. The suction dismembered the body of the developing baby and tore the placenta from the wall of the uterus, sucking blood, amniotic fluid, placental tissue, and fetal parts into a collection bottle. Great care had to be taken to prevent the uterus from being punctured during this procedure, which may have caused hemorrhage and necessitate further surgery. Also, infection could have easily developed if any foetal or placental tissue was left behind in the uterus. However, abortion procedures had come father than such barbaric methods in the current century, even though the basics remained the same.

If he failed, all that was left was surgery.

"I'm injecting the local anaesthetics now," he said, his voice calm and steady, as he calibrated his hypospray to best serve the Ash'reem. The open rectangular cut in the sheet bared Amikris' still rather flat abdomen and the apex of her legs. Lucan framed a section of her lower abdomen with his fingers and let the hypospray kiss her there. "Please, spread your legs now and take long, deep breaths."

By then, Lucan had made his way to the replicator and asked for a curettage, being presented with a curved instrument with a HUD. Deftly, he activated it and saw the lubricants form along the thin insertion shaft. Wasting no time, he pushed a few buttons and lit the x-ray feature of the HUD before using his fingers to spread her nether lips. The currettage was then firmly pressed inside her, the tip making a small hole in her hymen and venturing forth to the life-form within her.

He could see shadows moving on the display, the alien hybrid far from still even though it was too small to be felt by Amikris. This particular abortion did fascinate Lucan, but not to the degree that he would pause. He pushed the last few buttons, and lit the gentle radiation that was meant to complete the procedure in a couple of seconds. Yet as Luca watched the display, he found that the agitated movements did not cease, and even though loosened from Amikris, it was not liquidated. "It is not working. I have to deliver the foetus via medical transport. Please, remain still..."

Extracting the currettage gently, the puncture in the hymen proably about to heal, Lucan powered up th medical transport pod on a table and grabbed the scanner and pointer. He used both to localise the foetus, locking on it, and then narrowing down the transport area. "Initiating transport in three... two... one... energizing."

And upon the pod, out of Amikris field of view, a nine centimetre abomination appeared - part flora part animal and twisting like a hurt worm with lesser tendrils sprouting from it. It seemed part of its body was missing from the radiation, yet still it trashed there blindly in its death-throes. The only merit given he circumstances was that it did not have a voice or sound, but only small and soundless limbs. Lucan glanced once to Amatras before heading over there - about to do the inevitable yet letting her make her scans nonetheless.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #55
[Edena Rez and Nathan Isley - Transporter Room]

Defeated, not only by the commanding officers on-board, but even by the words of the man he sought to defend, Isley kept his silence from then on.  If it were him, he would have kept fighting until his point was made, but then he wasn't the best person to look to for a solid track record with commanding officers.  Though he might have earned a commendation today, it was one against a pile of bad statements on his personnel file which spoke volumes for his insubordination.  Maybe Lieutenant Renard was making the best decision for his Starfleet career and for the wolves in general.  Best take his lickings now and get back as soon as he could, to join a squadron in much need of another pilot.

"We will have time for a full debriefing when the ship is settled, Lieutenant," Edena spoke to the lost-now-found Fighter pilot.  She had just been assigned her position as Commander, and had much work ahead of her before she would be able to handle meeting with crewmen, even one in such a unusual circumstance as Miles.  "Until then, simply go about the business that was assigned to you by the Captain, and do so as ably as possible.  The utmost duty of this crew right now is to restore Theurgy to as best a shape as we can possibly get her in on the resources we possess."  With that, Edena left the transport room, the captain already having dismissed those in attendance.  She had her work cut out for her, as many of the crew did, to get the ship running in proper order again.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #56
Miles stood there smiling and gave the commander a quick salute.    He understood the consequences, but more importantly the Theurgy was still flying and he had two fellow Wolves there to catch up with.  "As far as I can tell the EMH has found nothing wrong with me. So, how about I treat the two of you to a drink or two in below decks in about 30 minutes and the two of you can tell me about how you got those crosses." 

"In the meantime I have to get going myself.  After that battle I feel like i was just in, I could use a nice sonic shower and a change of uniform."  He said as he had already began taking off the gloves and boots of the Flight suit having on the simulation style suit under it. 

As he walked out of the room, he placed the gloves and boots as well as the rest of the flight suit which he had removed into a small bin that he could carry with him.  Finally, his tail was back to being out of the suit and he was able to stretch it again.  He began wagging it to his sides much like how a human would stretch their legs after being seated for too long.  He looked back at the other two wolves flashing them the lone wolves salute adding before he fully walked out of the transporter room, "Can I count on the two of you to show up?" 

OOC: the simulation suit was used in Voyager as a piloting uniform so I assume that the simulation version in the RP is the same but slightly more form-fitting for use as a bodysuit under full flight suits.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #57
Skye knew Miles was doing the best he could possibly do for himself and he was definitely being good natured about it all.  Good natured enough to ask them to join him for drinks, something that brought a smile to her face.  "A long shower will do you a lot of good," she replied and remembered how she'd actually run the water cold when she'd first gotten back.

"And of course we'll join you, or at least I will," she said looking to Isley questioningly.  He hadn't said much to her since they'd worked together during the infection but they'd all been working hard to repair things on Theurgy.  "Can't speak for Mav here but I think a drink would do us all a world of good.  Maybe once things settle we can even start having movie night or poker night."

Again she winced inwardly at her need for people to be around her.  Was this something that would stick with her forever or would she gradually adjust back to how she used to be?  It was something that frustrated her to no end, always having been so independent and now she felt like a kid going off to kindergarten.  Following Miles out of the transporter room, she still felt guilty yet glad to have another of the den home.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #58
Stellar Cartography was, as expected, a disaster.  The collapse of the floor above had been sealed, but there was a lot of damage, and the primary functions were still not working.  While the sensors were, currently, scanning the stars and constellations around the Theurgy, and they could manuever by hours of computations, the Cartography computers were designed to pinpoint the exact location and allow the ship's travel to be mostly automated, tracking star clusters and stellar landmarks far more easily than a humanoid eye ever could.

As Nicole stepped inside, the door behind her gave her a bedraggled shower of sparks, causing her to wince and quickstep away.  The pair of doors only partially closed and she sighed at yet another item to mark down as needing fixing.  Muttering under her breath, she moved down the long walkway towards the center of the room, pausing to heft a metal beam out of her way, carefully setting it aside, rather than carelessly toss it.  Who knew what was salvageable, what might come in handy down the road.  She'd already begun to fill one of the Engineering storage compartments with seemingly useless junk which might provide raw material down the line.

Stopping along the circular edge at the center of the room, Nicole set her toolbox down and knelt, tapping at the release controls along the rim.  A panel slid out from beneath the dais and she scowled at the sight of the burned wreckage of what had once been the correlation bio-neural gel packs.  It would take her a couple of hours to reprogram a new pair, which was less of a concern than the fact they had a limited supply of them.  As she lay flat on the dais and began disconnecting them, she decided to take the burned out ones to Medical.  Maybe they could restore them, somehow.

From behind her, she heard the door spark again and turned to look, catching sight of Jien as the door tried to respond to his presence.  Part of her first instinct was to rise and approach, warn him about the door, but she stubbornly remained where she was, pulling one of the packs out and starting on the other.  She knew she was likely in trouble, just for not attending that damnable meeting.  For a number of reasons, she'd avoided groups of people, and, in this case, those reasons were simply topped off with the fact she was buried in work.  The ship wasn't going to fix itself, after all.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #59
[ Stellar Cartography ]

Watching the red-head engineer through the sliding doors that struggled to make way for him, Captain Ives soon decided to slide through the opening sideways - careful not to be blinded with the coughs of sparks that hit him.

As he threaded along the walkway to reach Nolak Kalmil's Assistant Chief Engineer, he considered her as she lay there and extracted gel packs. He would rather look upon her than the surroundings, since the place intimately reminded him about the fight he had with Nolak and his own First Officer. He would rather fasten his eyes upon the way her hair fell down towards the abyss while she worked, instead of seeing the railing upon which he... thought he might have claimed Nerina - sucking at her nipples and squirming his hardness deep into her expectant half-Klingon vagina. Frowning, he looked away, only to come to see the part of the centre flooring where Nolak had managed to conquer his female form - Nerina holding him and spreading his legs with her own. In fact, that specific spot on the deck plates had another colour - the dust having once been slick with nectar and semen.

"Lieutenant," he said, willing himself to look way and not think about the foggy images that assailed him, "I reckon that the summons probably reached you, and as unfortunate as I think it was that you were not present in Chief Kalmil's stead, I am pleased to see that you are carrying out your duties."

It was a rather gentle approach he had taken, much because his head was not clear and he would not like to lash out at her. Not here, when so much violence and corrupted things had come to pass. Here, where he had almost killed Lt. Howard's superior officer, and her XO. The bursts of sparks from the torn ceiling far above made the shadows play across them. His brow drawing down a bit, Jien wondered why he got so little acknowledgement from the Assistant Chief Engineer, even though she was dedicated to her work.

"Is something wrong?" he rasped to her quietly, standing behind her prone form with a hand upon the buckled railing. He might have come to enquire about her whereabouts and scold her for not informing the staff about her inability to attend the meeting, yet when he saw the halfblood Bajoran's determination and dead-set drive, the old almost-forgotten Rehabilitation Officer that he had been - the soul lost behind his frost-coated fortifications - had opened his eyes and saw her in a new light. "A silly question, I admit,  given what has transpired here aboard, yet nonetheless I sense there is something that flogs you to keep at it, meetings and present company be damned."

It was as far as his humour could venture, like a staggering mule barely awake - heading for slaughter.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #60
Truer words had never been spoken, she thought to herself as she kept on working.  Already, she'd put in nearly 14 hours, after a 22 hour day yesterday and all on less than a handful of hours sleep.  Every time she closed her eyes to try to rest, memories, vague and unsettling, arose, filling her with remembered arousal that was outside her control.  Control that she had taken for granted up to the events of the last week or so.  She felt violated, much as she imagined a lot of the crew did, but even more so from the lack of being who she wanted to be, of being forced into that... that nympho-slut, that other person who, despite the undeniably pleasurable enjoyment of it, had no will of her own, no ability to say no or stop seeking out yet another partner.  And, so, yes, she was flogging herself to work, desperate for anything that might keep her from sitting in her cabin, waiting for the next unwanted memory to flood her.

Pulling the second burned out gel pack free, she rolled onto her back, then sat up.  She crossed her legs and looked up at him, her lower eyelids darkened from lack of sleep, as she began setting up her portable programmer, readying the replacement gel packs for programming.  Her movements were practiced and efficient, nearly graceful in their un-thought out agility.  In a soft tone, she answered, "Y'r request was for senior staff.  M'st o' the toime, that might've been Chief Kalmil.  As no replacement was a'pine'ted, I'd not deemed m'presence necessary, what with all multitude of matters clamoring for m'time and attention."

As reasonable as her explanation might sound, she had known she should probably attend, but her seemingly increasing isolationism, along with her already decided dislike of meetings, and, indeed, anything where she might have to take orders from someone claiming to be her superior and wasn't, had led her to not go.  Not that she'd disliked Kalmil, exactly, but there'd been no love lost between them.  Other than thinking the captain looked attractive in either form, she was, as yet, undecided whether to like or hate Jien.  For the moment, with his masculine form standing over her, she felt... safe.  He was one of the few people aboard that she was absolutely certain she'd not had sex with, as the sight of him did not cause any memories to resurface, a fact she was immensely grateful for.  Her eyes fell to the gel pack as she seated it in the programmer and she sighed, deciding upon a lie rather than the truth, "Oi'm foine."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #61
[Nathan Isley - Transporter Room]

"After the week we've been through, I could sure as hell use a drink.  Having someone else pay for it just makes it all the better," Nathan said with a grin.  Giving a light slap to Skye's back, he encouraged her along as well.  "I'm willing to bet this one can hold her liquor too.  You don't get to be a lone wolf without being made of stronger stuff!"  How long had it been since the wolves could band together and enjoy each other's company?  The work had always gotten in the way, but now there was cause for celebration.  It was a homecoming, for both Renard and for Carver, both returning to the Theurgy, each in their own unique way.  It was a shame the SCO couldn't have been there to welcome them back himself, but that was a duty Nathan was more willing to take up himself.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #62
Jien watched Lt. Howard work quietly, or rather, he tried to keep his eyes on her rather than the stain on the floor that she almost had come to sit in. It served to be very distracting, but the Captain was not to let his least finest moments in life come to ruin their mission. The feelings of their appointed Assistant Chief Engineer was important, and with the lack of Garen Nelis present, Jien would somehow try to reach back through time and become the Counsellor that he had been the first years on aboard the USS Vendetta.

Carefully leaning against the railing to test if he could place his weight against it, Jien folded his arms across his chest and frowned, not at her, but as he looked down into the deck plates between them. His impeccable uniform a part of himself, he felt a shower sparks that fell on his shoulder - pricking sensations vanishing as it bounced off him. Watching her, he thought he might describe some of his own feelings as well as hers - what he thought might bother her. It was quite evident what the reason might be, given what had befallen them all.

"A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies," he said slowly, letting her know with a faint smile he did not believe her answer, yet more importantly conveying how he certainly did not think her cowardly in her response. Not with the sleep-deprived eyes of hers and the pace at which she had been working. No, she was not as fine as she made herself out to be. Rather the opposite. "Yet the worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We ceaselessly live in denial of what we do, or even what we think. We do this because we are afraid to know the truth. Given what has happened to us all, be it we were infected or not, we all fear what we were reduced to be at the behest of a plain virus - despite that the Captain of the USS Relativity said it was a biological weapon that evolved for millennia on perfecting itself."

Shrugging where he stood, Jien continued. "It is both a blessing and a curse that our memories are muddled by the antidote of the virus, because while we do not know the truth that we are so afraid of, the images we are assailed with suggest enough to make our minds fill in the blanks. Problem being... none of are merciful upon themselves in the face of fear... since we tend to assume the worst."

To watch er was to not watch the place they were at, so that was what he did, his eyes locked upon her or her body where she sat opposite him. He might say more, but he steeled himself to let her think, to let her consider new aspects of the turmoil she seemed to suffer.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #63
"Good thing it was an oot and oot lay, then," Nicole answered defensively, her Irish accent stronger because of it, before looking and catching his small smile.  She wondered why he was pointing out what she already knew, that she was far from fine.  She was an engineer, after all.  Ignoring structural integrity, her physical body, would be dangerous.  How long could she keep pushing herself before she simply collapsed from exhaustion?  And, further, would such exhaustion bring empty, dreamless sleep, which certainly had a certain appeal.

A beep drew her gaze away from him and to the gel pack, informing her the equipment was ready to start the programming sequence.  A double check of her figures and settings, she enabled the program, then leaned back slightly.  Her eyes moved back to him and, while she'd thought about him/her before, she'd never thought about the captain as being a sexual person.  The engineering part of her tried to work out the details, wondering if Jien felt pleasure from the act of sex.  How did he grow the male form out of himself?  Did it just form full hard, or was there some part of the changling physiology that had to be aroused, as well?  And, what of the nerve endings, as humans had?  Was the part that Jien manufactured to represent a male penis the changling's actual sexual equipment, meaning stimulation needed to be applied before conception could occur?  Was there some part of him that also had male semen, something forced from his body during ejaculation?  Did he ejaculate at all?  Then there was his female counterpart, breasts and nether parts.  Did he/she have ovaries...

Realizing she'd now spent more than a few seconds in thought about it, she flushed a deep pink and looked away.  He'd said words, something about relativity and biological weapons, but her tired mind had segued into anatomy and she'd lost track.  Looking back up at him, she sighed, hoping she was guessing correctly about what he'd been talking about, and asked, "Whot d'you remembe'?"

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #64
Seeing how tired the Lieutenant was, Jien realised that his reawakened counselling-demeanour might have made her phase out for a moment. He did not mention it, however, taking it in stride.

It was all a part of the role of being a confidante - the listener who replied in philosophies in order to enlighten, strengthen, distract and in the end alleviate the burdens of the speaker. The irony of the situation did not go unnoticed either. For in order to take a role that Jien used to have on the Vendetta, one needed good communication skills, an ability to establish trusting relationships with people, to put people at ease, to listen to them and reflect on what they say. Patience, tolerance, sensitivity and to be able to take an empathetic and non-judgemental approach. Moreover, to be self-aware and be able to reflect on your own thoughts, feelings and values. Since those many years on the Vendetta, it was not just a few of those abilities that Jien had come to loose. What remained of the old Counsellor was no more than an embittered husk devoted to the mission and command.

To reflect on one's own feelings and thoughts... that was what Nicole Howard now asked of him, and Jien clenched his jaws a little in thought. His scowl was an introvert one, while he contemplated how much he actually did remember, and that he could say without giving her untruths.

"I fell through the floor up there when it ruptured from the phaser-fire against the infected," he said quietly, the gravitas in his voice echoing in the broken chamber, "They were spooked. Paranoid. Set their weapons on wide disperse and changed their rifle-settings from stun. It tore up everything up there. When I came to, I was lying on top of that main control station there." As much he remembered clearly. Then he enacted what transpired by changing his form... to her female one before continuing.

"I altered my form in order to get out from under that beam, this Chosen Form of mine being smaller and more limber. When I made to leave, your superior officer entered through the malfunctioning door - our previous First Officer in tow," she said quietly, and while the intonation and speech mirrored the male voice from before, hers was now a definite female version of it. What it lacked in gravitas it made up for in cutting clarity. "I am unsure about a lot of things from this point on... yet I ended up trying to fight them off. The greatest difficulty was how Nolak Kalmil did not honour his vow of celibacy any more, and his Deltan abilities undermined my resistance completely. It was a drawn-out fight, many turns taken, and one of both physical restraint as well as mental fortitude. In the end..."

Jien folded her arms underneath her breasts and glanced towards the spot next to Nicole. She was almost certain that it was there it had happened. "...I lost. I think I remember Nolak... corrupting me, but it does not add up with how I saw him crash into the control station and suffering a plasma detonation. I have this image of him careening into this railing here by me and falling over. That does add up with how he was found, though. As for Nerina... She ended up down there too, but I am not entirely sure it was my intent at that time."

It was exceedingly difficult to speak of this, and especially with her being the Captain and not too happy about showing weakness to her crew - upholding the chain-of-command and all. How could one keep the office of the commanding officer impeccable under circumstances like this? Given how she had begun the story, she decided that she would finish it as well. "From this point, I have patched together things into some kind of sequence-of-events. I must have make my way to the destination that my companions and I had; one of the transporter rooms." She had worn her male form then, had she not? She thought so. Thus... he changed again, his masculine voice continuing.

"I alone had access to transporter controls, so I used it to the great disadvantage of the last few that were uninfected aboard. The new Chief of Operations must have shown up, since they had to patch together her face in Sickbay after the Relativity arrived. I... do not know exactly how much damage I did to her, or to the struggling ambitions on board to stave off the outbreak. I do know that I made my way to the Brig eventually, having trapped Commander Rez there, and fought to dominate her. It was by this time the Relativity arrived, and the temporal agents stopped me."

At this point, Jien fell silent - introspective. He did not ask her to tell him what she remembered. If she was willing to talk about it, she would. Perhaps he had, at least, given her some perspective with someone else's experiences during the Niga-incident.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #65
Wide-eyed, she watched her commanding officer shift form, partially started, mostly fascinated.  She'd seen Jien change before, but never from only a few feet away.  And, she'd never considered the uniform itself to be part of her captain, always thinking the changling changed garments before or after a shift.  She only half listened as Jien talked and was delightfully fascinated as he/she changed yet again.  This time, Nicole couldn't help herself and rose, approaching Jien.  Without asking, she stretched out a hand and ran her fingers over the left of Jien's chest, astonished to find the actual texture of his skin felt much like the cloth of her own uniform.  In a whispered tone, she said, "Remarkable."

Recalling what she could of her own experiences, she could only scowl, "At least you fought.  From what I recall, I didn't even put up a fight.  I mean, I hardly struggled at all, I think.  What kind of officer does that?  Just accepts being raped?  What kind of person?  And, then..."

Angrily, she wiped away a tear and stepped back from him.  Her next words constituted the worst part for her, the total and absolute changing of who she had been for who the virus had made her.  Her voice low, near to cracking, she murmured, "Then I enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it and I forced other people to enjoy it.  Not because I wanted to, but because I was forced to, was forced to think it was for the betterment of everyone.  That what I was doing was not only necessary, but was good and right and moral."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #66
The touch was something Jien was not used to, not in the forward way Nicole brushed her fingertips against his chest - each tip felt as skin was touched. Moreover, the fascination of his rare species and his abilities so alike the Changelings yet at the same time so very other... that was something he had come to take in stride after having grown up among humans since infancy. Her touch did linger in his mind, but given the topic and the place they were in, he attributed the notion to the circumstances they were in - nothing more.

Her words was what kept Jien's mind focused, her tears, yet it was her confessions that he addressed. When it came to self-disparaging opinions about events, there was something that Jien always believed was important, and that was the harsh truth of it. One had to address the issues. Yet in this case, the truth was not so harsh. No, not at all. The truth was now so plain that it served to become cliché and unfathomable. That the solution to the mind's affliction was so easy was hard to digest, and all that might serve was to repeat it. He was no counsellor any more, but this was something that the present Jien Ives knew perfectly well how to convey.

"Even before you were raped," he said, not mincing words the least, "you were under the influence of an alien virus - air-borne particles affecting your judgement. I have given this ship a formal edict that no judgement will fall upon the people who corrupted others - not even if they committed murder or other crimes. This edict extend to you too, and it is the same principle. You are not allowed to pass judgement upon your own actions just prior or after being infected by the alien virus. You have, though, done the right thing in telling me this, since your closest superior officer is currently in stasis. What kind of officer may be the victim of unprecedented elements or events? Anyone. Everyone. All kinds of officers may be the victims. The real question here... is one that you have to hear and accept to answer for your own sake as well as for this entire ship."

Jien let the silence linger, to let her seal some of the cracks in her own demeanour for her own sake.

"The real question you should ask yourself is not what kind of officer you were, but what kind of officer you decide to be? Will you come to terms with the fact that others need you, needs you focused and functioning, or does the accident that happened to befall you rule who you are? Because if you decide to put the accident behind you, I have a new appointment for you; that you shall take Nolak's place and serve the Theurgy as our new Chief Engineer. You will be promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and I would have you begin right away - delegating the current shift to work in cohesion instead of repairing whatever they happen to lay their eyes upon."

The box with her black pip remained in the Conference Lounge, otherwise he would have put it on her himself. "Yet the position comes with the condition that you strive to put this behind you, and that you return to serving regular duty shifts - not working day and night to keep your mind occupied. Only then will you be the kind of Starfleet Officer that you think you are not."

Stepping up behind Nicole, Jien laid his hand on her shoulder - a firm hand meant to steady her and give her strength. The will to accept that strength of her own and that she is not alone.

"I need you, Lieutenant," he said to her, "I need you to help me get everyone home, and to rectify their names, and without this ship functioning... I cannot see how it might be done."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #67
Listening to him talk about edicts, she wanted to irritatingly point out that he could issue orders all he wanted and it wouldn't change what any of them had been through.  The fact remained her actions, even under the influence of the virus, had been hers.  Much as she would like to refuse any responsibility, she knew she couldn't, and none of them should.  Some of them had been dragged into it, but the entire incident would forever be tainted by their own personalities.  The people she'd had flashes of having sex with, for the most part, had been people she'd wanted to have sex with before being infected.  The woman from the shower, a beautiful female no matter your choice of species, or the cook, who'd been muscular and strong, though a bit dense in the head, both had been people she'd been attracted to.  Being infected was just an excuse to do what she likely never would have ordinarily.  The same for all of them, to a certain aspect.  The infection was an excuse for what had happened, for letting their darker natures surface, even if only for a time.  To think otherwise was to be deluded.

As she listened to him, then felt his hand on her shoulder, she knew, one day, she might forget what had happened entirely, but not today, not right now.  And, forgetting would not erase it, nothing could change what had happened, could change what had happened to her.  The promotion, though... now that was something to focus on, at least.  Her work was who she was, who she had been before she'd even left Mars, forced to join Starfleet.  The obsessive compulsion to solve problems, to find solutions, to fix what needed fixing had, regardless of her personal outlook, found her being promoted, not once, but multiple times.  And, now, here was another promotion where her first instinct was to curse and refuse.  But, when she thought of anyone else trying to fix the Theurgy, of performing the hundreds of delicate operations meant to ensure the ship kept functioning, she felt a fierce anger that anyone else might do what she could do best.  Of course, as the lead engineer aboard, she knew she would have to delegate some of it to those below her, to supervise but not micromanage the efforts of her subordinates, an aspect of management she'd had to figure out the hard way, through grueling experience.  That didn't mean she wouldn't be the hardest working of them all, much as she was now.  She sighed, having realized she'd made the decision already.  Facing him, she scowled, "All right, foine, Oi accept.  Y'r ship'll remain in one pace.  Oi dont, howeve', mike any guarantees o' mental reco'hery.  T'wouldn't be sentient if Oi could.  Accept me as Oi am, or droop me off the next available port."

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #68
Gratified that she would accept the position, Jien did understand where she was coming from with her objection that she could not leave any gauarantees. It was plain to him, however, that she was not the kind to wallow in despair unless she could help it, so he smiled faintly and inclined his head.

"You know, the fear I have now, in retrospect, is the helplessness of it all - how one lacked control," he told her as he began to walk along the walkway, "so what the text-book says, is that to overcome an accident, you should try to do things where you are in control. So perhaps the position of Chief Engineer might help you - the measure of control you need to have unparalleled aboard. At least it is something to work with, when you cannot recreate the same kind of scenario's that instigated the trauma. Your therapy, 'Commander Nicole, ought to be control in the situations where you feel you lack it. Try to stay on top of things, and rebuild your self-esteem."

Pausing, Jien looked down the side of the walkway. "I need to continue, but the First Officer will help you with the administration unless I am available. You need to speak with the Quartermaster too in order to make arrangements for moving. Bye for now."

With that, Captain Ives inclined his head and walked off, content that she would do her best. He would expect little else.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #69
Amikris gave a slight sigh of releif when she realized it was finally really over.  It had been a very harrowing week, and her body needed this break for once.  Even with the slight increase in her rations, Amikris's body was strained from the ordeal.  Her body not designed for prolonged infections, to her species the infection either killed you in a matter of a couple days, or you overcame it within a matter of days, but with this outbreak she'd lasted almost a week infected with the organism.  To its credit her body had kept the infection contained.

As the procedure was completed she closed her eyes and was quickly asleep. Amatras glanced at the fetus that had been transported out of the chamber and then at Lucan. "Do you mind if i take her back to my quarters to rest?" The older Ash'reem inquired as she continued to make scans of her daughter idly.

Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #70
Nicole watched her captain's broad back as he left Cartography and her, eyes lingering on his firm buttocks as he walked.  Alone with her thoughts, she resumed her seated position and pondered what he'd told her, knowing she had hours to do so.  As her musings continued, she grew tired of waiting and stood, beginning to use the cranes that had been moved in, harnessing the large pieces of ceiling and gravitating them down to the lower level of the room.  She'd mark them later for transport, but was happy enough to just get them out of the way and out of sight.  She paused when the programmer beeped, taking the time to pull the newly programmed gel pack and replace it with the second.  Installing them together made more sense, so she returned to working on the debris.  Several hours later, she stopped, finally finished, and put the finished gel packs in place.  Running diagnostics, she double checked her programming, then stepped back and started up the holoprojectors, delighted when the wide, circular screen lit up with the billions of stars recorded in the databases.  Finished, and with a sense of accomplishment, she packed up her equipment and, with a final look around, reminded herself to have the debris transported.  Mentally checking off most of her work for Stellar Cartography, she turned her attention to the other list, the list detailing all of the current work needing to be done.  Only 658 more items to fix.  She sighed and started off to the next location, deciding a cup of coffee would be necessary.


Re: EPISODE 01: Outbreak [Epilogue]

Reply #71
[ Sickbay | Surgical Suite 01 | Deck 07 ]

Eyes locked upon the dying foetus on the pod, Lucan heard Amatras speak and he answered while still not looking away.

"Of course, you should go. No need to get a stretcher, just... Thea, please ask a Transport officer to initiate medical transport of two crew members to their quarters. Cadet Neotin and Lieutenant Neotin. Energize at will..."

As Lucan looked over to the two Ash'reem, he inclined his head. "She will be aright, just... take care of her so that she can regenerate properly. I will take care of the rest here. With hope... we may just have witnessed the salvation of your species, so you should rejoice when you can."

Whatever Dr. Nicander may have come up with to say besides that, not to mention the reply, was lost since the Transport Officers seemed on their toes. In cascading light coursing over the two Ash'reem, they vanished from the Surgical Suite - leaving Lucan alone with the tiny, twitching thing on the table. A resilient little fighter as big as the tip of the thumb. It had withstood the curettage's radiation, and seemed to be waiting for the next move from the doctor.

Stepping up to the table with the transporter pod, Lucan could not tell afterwards how long he remained standing there - contemplating what he might do to the little abomination. In the end, he picked up an exoscalpel and held it over the tiny body - his instrument gleaming as much as his white lab coat in the dim light.

Then, the beast inside opened its eyes... and Lucan's hand was stalled.

Hearing the voice inside and what it suggested, the CMO began to chuckle - the artificial lights of the instruments and panels catching his teeth and his white lab coat. The chuckle became a laugh, and then it grew. The opportunities were endless, and he would have the right of it in the end.

This was fate's gift to him, and he would make the best of it...

- Fin

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